Mar 30, 2013

Project Runway — What Did We Learn This Week? Season 11, Episode 10

Each season of Project Runway we can expect to see a number of the same challenges: the Unconventional Materials Challenge, the Ready-to-Wear Challenge, and the Challenge Where They Bring Back All of the Bitter Eliminated Designers So They Can Undermine the Work of the Remaining Contenders. (That's next week's challenge; I know I can't wait!).

And for several seasons now Project Runway has also featured the "HP Design Challenge," in which the designers have the opportunity to create their own printed fabric using state-of-the-art touch-screen technology. It may just be the greatest bit of cross-promotion ever attempted on TV: how many of us wish we could create our own perfect prints so easily in an hour without any special training? 

I love this challenge. I think it has produced some of the best garments on Project Runway. Remember Mondo's amazing HIV-positive-inspired pants?

How simple is that? It's just an outlined plus sign repeated ad nauseum. But the scale is perfect, and the contrasting colors work together to create something chic yet whimsical...if I were a Project Runway contestant I would be taking notes. 

This time around, the designers were given an additional consideration: their garments must be inspired by the Guggenheim Museum — and be avant garde. (What that means exactly is often a challenge for Project Runway contestants.) And because they are in teams of two, each pair also had to design a ready-to-wear companion piece. 

Head ready to explode yet? Poor Richard's was (and his cranium is unusually large, so I would caution his partner Patricia to stand back!). Doesn't he look like an angry lion?

We all knew from the outset that pairing Richard with Patricia was going to be a disaster akin to locking a fox and a badger in a room full of fabric. This combination even managed to somehow put Patricia in the unlikely position of clock-watcher as Richard dragged his feet on his garment, instead crafting a fiddly bracelet THAT DID NOT EVEN MAKE IT DOWN THE RUNWAY. 

I don't know if this can be corroborated, but Patricia even alleged Richard did not know how to install an invisible zipper. It seems unlikely that someone could make it on to Project Runway — and not be eliminated for nine episodes! — without first learning how to install a zipper. But this is the same guy who claimed to not know that men's dress shirts require collar stands, so I wouldn't put it past him. Not surprisingly, I can't find much to learn from his ready-to-wear look: 

It's not the worst thing I've seen on Project Runway. I would never wear a white skirt (too many tampon commercials burned into my brain, I guess). But how does it relate to Patricia's avant garde look? There's our lesson:

Lesson 1: If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. And in Richard's case that means falling right under the proverbial wheels of the reality show bus that is just waiting to crush you the moment you flinch.

Not having the use of your arms is pretty avant garde, isn't it? I think Patricia's look was quite pretty, though I generally prefer garments that don't totally ignore function in favor of form.

Since Patricia was handling the avant garde look, Richard felt he had to cow to her vision. But her visions apparently can't be explained, so what was the poor guy to do? As terrible as he is, you had to feel a little bad for the guy.  

Lesson 2: If you throw enough crap at the wall, some of it will stick. But if you just keep throwing, soon enough your wall is covered in crap. And is that what you really want? 

Layana, whose whining finally put me over the edge into the eliminate-her-now-please-NOW camp this week, threw a lot of crap onto her dress, which was supposed to be her team's avant garde look:

The judges described it alternately as "Eliza Doolittle," "Southern Belle," "Kentucky Derby," and the worst — that it looked like Daniel designed it. Ouch! This 19th century gown does not relate in any way to the modern print they created (which I think reads plaid from afar). But take all that crap and organza off this dress and what have you got? Something that's neither avant garde nor even all that attractive.

As for Richard, when he's good, he's very, very good (but when he's bad, he's abysmal). So....

Lesson 3: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. This week Daniel reprised his Joan Collins jacket (remember it last week in hot pink?!), but added an edge (which Layana took full credit for):

That jacket is inspiring. It's a case study of how the same design can be made with wildly varying degrees of success, depending on your fabric choice (how much do you love the sleeves and collar in leather?). Also, Richard has done those same shoulders five times now, so naturally they were perfect.

He also somehow made that ho-hum skirt out of the teeny scrap of fabric that Layana left for him. (Do you think she was spoiled as a child? I do.)

Michelle and Stanley, meanwhile, are clearly headed for Fashion Week (argue with me in the comments below if you disagree!). Unlike the other teams, which failed to bring out the best in each other, these two hit the ground running with their original and inspired "woman on the verge" print and a shared silhouette inspired by a sculpture at the Guggenheim.

Lesson 4: Sometimes it's good to be judicious with a print:

See it used for the shoulders of Michelle and Stanley's avant garde look
And sometimes a whole bunch is just right:

Stanley's ready-to-wear dress, made from Michelle's print

What was your favorite look this week? Did you learn anything you can apply to your own creations?

Mar 27, 2013

See You Next Tuesday

If a week goes by and you people don't hear from me, can you send in the Marines (or a big box of wine and a babysitting service)?

I have in-laws arriving today for five days (staying with us; I hope they realize just how tiny my daughter's bedroom is. Pretty sure you won't be able to open the door all the way with a Queen-sized Aerobed in there). Also, my husband is in San Francisco (lucky jerk) for work. And it's Spring Break (but feels more like Winter Break, it's so cold in NYC). I don't know how I am going to feed two extra people and deal with the dishes in my tiny, no-dishwasher kitchen for the next five days. Do you ever feel like you need a vacation after someone else spends their holiday at your place?

Needless to say there won't be time for sewing until next week. I have finished a few things, but without a husband here to shoot photos, they will have to wait to be seen. My pants draft for the Jeanius class is near-perfect, which has me really excited (though I have to draft a waistband, and am a little worried about that). I also ordered some ridiculous printed stretch denim from Can't wait to show it to you.

Here's something cool I saw last week:

My husband has been telling me about this store in Soho since he started working in the neighborhood a few months ago. It's called All Saints, and it features a gigantic collection of vintage sewing machines. There were at least three walls with this many sewing machines. The woman working there told me before they opened they posted an ad seeking donated machines. So there you go: you want a 1940s Featherweight, just post an ad seeking freebies (I should have asked here WHERE they posted the ad to get such a response). There's no telling whether any of them work, but doesn't it make your heart hurt a little to see so many great machines sitting idle, gathering dust?

Mar 22, 2013

Project Runway — What Did We Learn This Week? Season 11, Episode 9

First, can we share a sigh of relief that this week's challenge was an actual fashion challenge? I for one was thrilled for the poor designers, who were clearly rattled by their brush with the male burlesque troupe Thunder From Down Under (FYI: if you're feeling a thunder down under, don't delay seeing your doctor. I hear it spreads faster than an overturned box of pins!).

The challenge this week was to create ready-to-wear looks for Lord & Taylor's Spring 2013 line, inspired by the luxury department store's signature rose emblem. The winning designer had their look reproduced and it's now on sale at Lord & Taylor (An idea they no doubt stole from Fashion Star! Michelle's dress is $259, but it has already sold out, of course).

It was clear from the title of Episode 9, "He Said, She Said," that this one was going to be all about team relations. And indeed, watching it I was struck by how each of the guy-girl pairings was dysfunctional in its own way. In fact, I was so distracted by the histrionics of certain male contestants that I nearly forgot to pay attention to their usual sewing/design-related foibles!

Before we get to the looks and what we can learn, let's conduct a little couples therapy — and think about who we would least like to be in a relationship with based on their conduct in this particular challenge.

Patricia & Stanley — Patricia felt bullied by Stanley's hands-on approach to this team challenge. In her eyes, he was being controlling. But Stanley hasn't lost a team challenge yet, and he wasn't about to start. So rather than taking the passive-aggressive route (like most other designers have in the past with Patricia), he actually forced her to communicate with him, by doing what I always do: calling his partner defensive and then inviting her to answer back to his criticism.

It never works for me. But it seemed to do the trick for them; Stanley smartly reminded Patricia they were on the same team, and that he's looking out for her. Oh, and he reminded her that whatever garment they send down the runway will be judged for its ability to be mass-produced (and sold for under $250). So Patricia avoided undertaking one of her intricate (and time-consuming, so therefore expensive) fabrications and made something simpler for once:

It's not great, but it was enough to keep her around for another week. And as for who would make a better partner out of this pair, I think Stanley is the clear winner. Nothing would fester unsaid with this guy! 

Richard and Layana —  Richard just couldn't let go of his ill feelings toward Layana after she criticized him during judging last week (even though he was the first one to turn on a teammate, let's not forget!). And rather than have it out with her and move on like Stanley might, Richard gave Layana the silent treatment for the duration of this one-day challenge. But the silent treatment only serves to amuse when its target cares little for your opinion. (And later when the judges started laying into Richard for his boring maxi dress, you could just picture him adding all their names to his do-not-speak-to list — written in lipstick on his vanity mirror.) Point for Layana.

Daniel and Michelle — You've got to love Daniel and Michelle for their shared ability to absorb criticism like it's a compliment. When Tim says Daniel's original garment, a cropped jacket, looks like something Joan Collins would wear, he retaliates with a sunny "Who doesn't love Joan Collins!?" (Shades of Michelle, who earlier in this season delighted in a critique that said her country/rock look was hair metallish!)

But when Daniel decided to unpick his cropped jacket, he really started to unravel, which was apparent in the way he shoveled blame pre-emptively on his teammate, saying things like "You can't bring me down, Michelle!"

All that time spent projecting his fears onto Michelle would have been better spent pressing this dress, which I think looks like the new stewardess uniform for Air Barbie:

Michelle neither accepted Daniel's crazytown accusations, nor let them affect her ability to tackle this challenge. Which makes her the winner in more ways than one, and brings us to:

Lesson 1: Mixing fabrics looks luxe, when it's done right.

Michelle's winning look was created from several fabrics: chartreuse silk crepe de chine, sheer chiffon, and leather. It takes skill to sew together two fabrics of different weight and drape — and not have it be puckered or pull at the seams. This lesson is a mental note to experiment a little with layering and adding design elements in another fabric.

Lesson 2: A bad print makes a good design moot:

The judges were divided on Layana's Spring dress except when it came to the print — which they unanimously hated. I think the back is divine, and a second trip to Mood would probably make it a masterpiece. (Perhaps if her teammates had been speaking to her, someone would have suggested this looks a little Mrs.-Roper-muumuu for a full length dress.).

 Lesson 3: Coco Chanel is credited with saying that before you go out the door, you should take one thing off (presumably an extraneous accessory and not your pants!). And when it comes to design, taking one thing off would have helped Samantha salvage what could have been a cute little dress for Lord & Taylor's younger customer:

Color blocking, three-tier ruffled skirt with asymmetrical hemline, AND a heart cutout? I think Samantha could be right, and that a young customer would opt for this design. But this busy look did not pass muster with the judges, who don't really care about what it is that girls like. (It's all about what THEY think girls should want to look like!).

So what did I miss? Who's your current pick for final three?

Mar 21, 2013

Zen and the Art of the 100-hour Sewing Project

Have you ever been on a really long bus ride? Like, one that could be counted not in hours, but days?

I once rode the Greyhound from just outside Medicine Hat, Alberta, to Toronto with a friend (we started out in Victoria, B.C., but her car's engine seized just as we crossed over into Saskatchewan; we sold the car for parts and hitched a ride with a Canada Post delivery truck to the closest bus "depot" — which was actually just a gas station on the Trans-Canada Highway). The bus ride was 48 hours long — nothing compared to the hellish trip experienced by the young couple who got on the same bus in Whistler.

It's my theory that in order to survive such a test of endurance, you must give yourself over to it completely: You've got to say to yourself, "This is my life now. I live on this bus. These are my people. I am never getting off." Only then can you actually begin to enjoy the trip rather than make yourself miserable counting down the hours until it is over.

I'm feeling this same way about a couple things this week:

1) My kid has a persistant case of pinkeye. Of course that means she can't go to preschool because it's so crazy infectious (she contracted it at a birthday party last weekend; half the girls in attendance got pinkeye, the other half the flu. I guess I should consider myself lucky — I hate cleaning up vomit).

Nor can we go anywhere kids are in attendance (that would be unethical), or set up playdates (passing on pinkeye is not the way to win new friends). Instead we must hang out at home, doing craft projects and struggling with the impossible task of forcing medicated drops into a four-year-old's eyes thrice daily. This is my life now. Today we made soft pretzels and watched My Little Pony.

I thought the pretzels were amazing (I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe). However, my picky kid is the most hyperbolic food reviewer; she said the pretzels were so horrible that people were going to fill the street outside our window and start chanting, "The dough is yucky! The dough is yucky!" A simple "no, thank-you" would have sufficed.

2) Kenneth King's Jeanius Craftsy class. I am never getting off this bus:

Drafting on silk organza
What you're looking at above is the pair of pants I am copying, basted along the seamlines with a thick, white thread, and then pinned to a piece of silk organza marked with grainlines. I've now finished transferring my draft to paper. Following this, I only have to test the draft, correct the draft, turn the draft into a pattern, and then construct a pair of pants. I am on Lesson 3 out of 11. These are my people now.

All of it wouldn't seem so daunting if I was actually confident these pants can be replicated. I couldn't even tell you what kind of fabric these are made from. They're from W118 by Walter Baker. (Not a brand I had ever heard of; I bought them at Marshall's last December). The tag says 64% Polyester, 32% Rayon, and 4% Spandex. They're obviously a woven, but I can't see a grainline for the life of me. And they seem to have at least a little stretch in every direction, which must be why they are so amazingly comfortable and super flattering. Probably my best bet would be to head to Mood and ask someone who knows their stuff. Or try making them in another fabric, and adjust the pattern as needed. (Also, somebody better help me eat the rest of these pretzels, or this pattern will definitely need a few adjustments).

Edit: I've been googling, and now I think they're a poly-blend crepe. 

So how do you maintain your calm when mired in a month-long sewing project with no end in sight?

Mar 17, 2013

The Chambray "I Should Have Listened to Phyllis" Blouse

First, let me acknowledge the few good things about this blouse I sewed this week, before I get into the shoulda, coulda, wouldas.

The fabric was a gift from Sonja of Gingermakes, who apparently knows my colors better than I do. I don't think I would ever have chosen this light brown chambray for myself, but it actually looks really nice with my hair, skintone and eyecolor. 

 I used Pattern Runway's Pussy Bow Blouse pattern, which I altered to accommodate my wide hips. I also added pockets (self-drafted), and constructed the center front slightly differently (folding it over instead of under to create a faux placket with topstitching in the men's shirt style). I think both of those details worked really well. I omitted the bow:

Mar 15, 2013

Project Runway — What Did We Learn This Week? Season 11, Episode 8

Before I get started, I need to tell you about something that ACTUALLY JUST HAPPENED. I was watching this week's episode of Project Runway in the public library on my laptop when this librarian walked behind me, saw my screen, and said: "Oh Project Runway! Such a shame Amanda got kicked off."

Uh, spoiler alert much, lady?! I told her I wasn't at the end yet, and she just shrugged and walked away. You think New York City is supposed to be all "keep your head down, mind your business" but it is clearly not, my dear readers. (The same woman looked at me with great suspicion when I told her I actually wasn't Jewish. She made a huge point of telling me the cake they were serving for a special event was Kosher. My neighborhood is pretty Orthodox. I guess it's time to start wearing more bright colors?).

Anyway, there are some weeks on Project Runway that you just feel really bad for the designers. Like, if you could bake them a pie and run them a hot bath, you would. And this week, with its unfortunate male stripper challenge, was one of those weeks.

The designers were tasked with creating three performance looks for the "Thunder From Down Under," an Aussie men's revue that reads like a modern-day Village People (except I don't think the Village People ever stripped down to their Aussie-flag-emblazoned boxer shorts, did they?).

Challenges like this make me wonder: Do the Project Runway producers want the designers to fail? Because seriously: patterning, fitting and sewing three full outfits for men with unusually muscular bodies in ONE DAY? Oh, and the outfits all have to tear away easily, for stripping purposes? C'mon!

Tim Gunn warned them at the outset: "Some of the worst work to ever walk the runway on Project Runway has been menswear." And he's right. It's always terrible (but sometimes it makes for very good TV). Remember this poor guy from Season 9?

The challenge then was to create Rolling Stone cover looks for the Sheepdogs (a rock band from Saskatchewan!). Incidentally, that episode featured my favorite Michael Kor-ism of all time: "He looks like Peter Brady at a Harvest Festival!" It was also hilarious to watch odd little Olivier refer to his client (a tall man with a body much like my husband) as "plus size" repeatedly — right in front of him. And what did Olivier do? He made him look like part-owner of the feminist bookstore on Portlandia (if she soiled herself).

So what were the judges expecting, giving this week's challenge to a group of women's wear designers? The male models were the only ones who were gracious about the difficulties the poor designers faced. Heidi kept saying she just couldn't wait for them to take off those awful clothes, while Nina practically had to be resuscitated, she was laughing so hard.

Those of us who make clothes for men can learn a lot from their errors. (Or maybe they can learn from us?).

Lesson 1: MEN'S SHIRTS NEED COLLAR STANDS! (And plenty of women's shirts do too (I sewed one just this week). Is it really possible that Richard doesn't know this?  He feigned innocence over this very basic detail in men's shirt construction:

Wow. Why didn't anyone else step in and say, "Where's the collar stand?! You can't make a men's tailored shirt without a collar stand!" (Yes, you can make a roll or shawl collar, but that would be unusual in a tailored button-up). Maybe it's because Richard only wears tank tops...maybe he should have looked at Stanley's shirt? Layana would have!

Lesson 2: Proportion is key in menswear. Small (collars/cuffs/etc) = feminine. Witness Layana's tuxedo-style jacket:

Poor guy looks like he stole his lady's coat. Granted, he has trapezius muscles the size of yams, and I bet given another day Layana would have made some key fit adjustments. She has a good eye. Perhaps she was distracted by all the flirting?

Lesson 3: It doesn't matter what your shirt looks like when you're just going to throw a coat on top of it:

Now, like I said, I was watching this episode on my laptop at the library, and it was very low res, so I thought maybe I was missing out on some of the details. But when Nina said Daniel's trenchcoat looked like a "beauty smock" — something you would wear while getting a haircut, I realized, yep...I am seeing exactly what they're seeing. A black beauty smock. I don't actually think it's that terrible, but for an all-male Vegas revue? If some guy walked out on stage in that, I would check my ticket because clearly I'm in the wrong theater.

And underneath it was Patricia's shirt, a macrame disaster that Heidi compared to a potholder. Patricia, of course, spent the full 24 hours making this shirt, leaving her teammates to pull up the slack.

Lesson 4: Just because you CAN do everything, doesn't mean you SHOULD do everything. 

Sad Stanley did a lot of the heavy lifting for his team, making three pieces, a pants pattern and a shirt pattern. He also advised Layana on how to fix her suit coat, and constructed a men's shirt in 20 minutes. But trying to do too much may have been his downfall this challenge (or maybe it's the fact that he's kind of boring? I think maybe Stanley needs to lay off the Paxil, because his downers seem to be working a little too well. Has that guy had a single moment of levity this season?).

Wake me up when this is over:

Again, it's not terrible, and I'm sure the fit issues would have been fixed given more time. But the team was going for a business look, and this is more "Death of a Salesman" than Financial Times Bump N' Grind, amirite ladies?

So did Amanda deserve to go home this week for her pants pattern (which was somehow perfect in the hands of Samantha, but ended up too tight in her variations)? If we're at an all-male strip show, do we really care what their pants look like? And how many collar stands should Richard be forced to sew as penance for his poorly patterned men's shirts?

Mar 14, 2013

In Praise of Pockets — and Generous Friends

I guess whining at great length about how you have no money for fabric is a good way to inspire a little charity in your virtual friends. Or maybe they just want to shut me up for a while? Either way, I scored this week!

Thanks Yvonne (aka NurseBennett)!! 

Don't think for a second though that I am just take, take, taking here: Yvonne told me she was drowning in fabric. So really, I saved a life. No need to alert the authorities in rural Alabama (but if we ever don't hear from her in a while, I will tell them to look in her sewing room — under the big pile of printed jerseys, if her selection for me is any indication).

My four-year-old has already claimed a number of the bright prints, and a big length of yellow jersey — her favorite color since she could speak. I'll be thinking long and hard about how to use the two pieces of black leather she included...Yvonne suggested another bag (like the Mommy Poppins bag I recently made). I'm thinking leather accents on a pair of pants...but that's a little wintry and may have to wait.

As for my work-in-progress no-pussy-bow Pussy Bow Blouse, I think the Singer Featherweight I've been sewing on has cut down my stitching time by half. Why? Because it's so steady I can topstitch like a boss — no need to unpick and redo like I had to repeatedly with my anemic, plastic contemporary Singer. Witness the sleeve placket on my taupe (?) chambray blouse I have been sewing this week: 

And the collar — probably my best ever:

I used a pocket pattern I drafted long ago to make pockets on the front:

I originally drafted the pocket for this shirt I made, which was a project for my patternmaking class. 

Say....that was a good pattern. Perhaps I should have used it instead of the Pussy Bow Blouse pattern? Only time (and a few buttonholes) will tell. And now I'm off to watch Project Runway, my friends!

Mar 12, 2013

What I'm Working On: Keeping Sewing Ducks In A Row

Readers: How many balls do you keep in the air, and are you any good at juggling?

By balls, I mean sewing projects, and by juggling I mean actually finishing any of the projects in question. Or do you let them fall eventually once your sewing table is finally buried under a mound of fabric scraps, unmarked pattern pieces and empty iced coffee glasses?

Those reference points are a little too specific, no? This clearly hits close to home. I'm actually not that bad at juggling (literally!), but as far as finishing three projects when I'm working on them concurrently....we'll see about that.

1) A Tooth Fairy Pillow, which is a present for my daughter's friend. It's was Lucy's idea (her friend is turning 5, and Lucy reasoned she'll soon be loosing teeth, so she should have a special pillow in which she can stuff her little incisors). The little pocket on the tooth fairy's dress functions as a place to hide teeth — and then money. It's nearly finished, but I am out of stuffing...and am now looking around my apartment for appropriately springy materials. I would have to travel far for a bag of polyfill....any suggestions, anyone?

2) Kenneth King's "Jeanius" class from I have marked the trousers I am copying (a perfectly fitting cropped tuxedo pant). Moving on to the next step (pinning the pants to a piece of silk organza for tracing purposes) requires properly cleaning off my drafting table as this picture makes clear:

3) And because two is never enough of anything, I'm also about to draft a patch pocket and flap so I can make a chambray version of Pattern's Runway's Pussy Bow Blouse (minus the bow, but with two pockets on the front). I just want to make something I can wear sooner rather than later (I don't even have fabric in mind yet for the above pants pattern):

So what's your number? Do you take on your projects single-file (no budging!), or do you keep a number on the backburner for when you need a break from one that's giving you grief?

Mar 8, 2013

Project Runway — What Did We Learn This Week? Season 11, Episode 7

This post is part of a new weekly feature wherein I recap all the lessons I learned from this week's episode of Project Runway. Please comment below to add any lessons you picked up that I may have missed!

Each season of Project Runway has featured one "unconventional materials challenge," in which the designers must create a stunning garment out of, for example, hardware, candy, Christmas decorations or their own underpants (That happened, right?).

This season, however, has already thrown all our expectations out the window with the weekly teams challenge motif. So why wouldn't they also do a second unconventional materials challenge, this one involving the use of duct tape (I just had a GREAT idea: how about a whole season of unconventional materials challenges? Producers, if you run out of ideas, here are a few suggestions: bottle caps, unfinished knitting projects, leftovers (food, not fabric), and the entire contents of my purse. Call me!).

Mar 6, 2013

The Anti-Pinterest: Making You Feel Better About Your Home, Body, Parenting...

Where do you go for your daily dose of self-loathing? If you're anything like me, you probably get it at Pinterest. 

Most of us used to rely on lady mags, Martha Stewart, and judgmental friends to make us feel bad about our bodies, home decor, and parenting. Thankfully, we no longer have to wait until the beginning of the month, or even pay to look at pretty pictures of unattainable bodies, home decor and parenting!

Mar 5, 2013

Finished Object! Mommy Poppins Bag

One project done on the new-to-me Singer Featherweight, and I'm already thinking of all the garments I could attempt now that I would never have been able to do on my anemic contemporary Singer. Jeans? A leather jacket? 

I digress. The new machine, on loan from the Peter Lappin Singer Sewing Machine Museum, Chelsea Annex, came just in time; I don't think the Mommy Poppins Bag I made this weekend would have turned out half as great without it: 

I was so thrilled to test out Jodi Bonjour's newest bag pattern. It's actually a diaper bag, but I think it does just fine as an NYC-sized handbag.

Mar 3, 2013

Look What Came Home With Me This Weekend!

Yesterday I traveled down to the Garment District in Midtown Manhattan to buy a few remaining supplies for my Mommy Poppins Bag. I picked up fusible interfacing at the Fashion Institute of Technology bookstore and a magnetic closure at SIL Thread (plus muslin for Kenneth King's "Jeanius" Craftsy class, which I am finally going to get serious about soon I swear).

But I completely forgot to buy lining. I did, however, bring home something much, much better.

Mar 1, 2013

Project Runway — What Did We Learn This Week? Season 11, Episode 6

This is the 2nd post in a new weekly feature wherein I recap all the lessons I learned from this week's episode of Project Runway. Please comment below to add any lessons you picked up that I may have missed!

The most challenging challenges on Project Runway are always the ones in which the designers have to work with real (i.e. non-model) people — a fact which we sewers should all find comfort in; non-model bodies are harder to fit and flatter (So lay off yourself a little when your pants pattern takes three fittings to get right!).

And this week's challenge was a first for Project Runway (correct me if I'm wrong) — featuring a sassy group of senior ladies in all shapes and sizes!

I would have been scared too. Designing for the mature woman is not in the wheelhouse of most of these designers. And the rest of us can learn from their mistakes when it comes to style, fabric selection and slutting it up a little.


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